Toronto FC vs. New England Revolution | 2017 MLS Match Preview
Toronto FC vs. New England Revolution
2017 MLS Regular Season
BMO Field – Toronto, Ontario
Friday, June 23 – 8:00 pm ET
WATCH: TSN in Canada, MLS LIVE in the US
Less than 48 hours after the final whistle blew on the first leg of their Canadian Championship series against Montreal on Wednesday night, Toronto FC will take to the field again on Friday, when they’ll host the New England Revolution in league action.
On such a quick turnaround, Friday’s match will be an exercise in squad rotation for the Reds, who used a near full-strength lineup in their 1-1 tie at Montreal on Wednesday. At least a couple of their key attackers will be at or near full strength on Friday, however. Star forward Sebastian Giovinco and influential midfielder Victor Vazquez only played the final 28 minutes on Wednesday. Expect both to start on Friday.
For New England, Friday’s match marks their second straight game against one of the East’s top teams. Last week didn’t go as planned, as the Revs squandered a bundle of good opportunities in a 2-1 home loss to Chicago, who trail league-leading TFC by one point in the Supporters’ Shield standings.
While New England are coming off of a loss, they did hand Toronto a 3-0 defeat just three weeks ago, getting an early goal from Benjamin Angoua and second-half tallies from Diego Fagundez and Juan Agudelo to top TFC at Gillette Stadium. They’ll be looking for another strong start in Friday’s rematch.
“The start is very important,” New England defender Chris Tierney told the club’s official website earlier this week. “You see what happens when we don’t start well; we get results like we did against Chicago. There are games that we’ve started well, like last time we played against Toronto where we put the game on our terms and it goes in our favor. That’s definitely a focus of ours this week.”
Toronto’s depth has been excellent all season, but Friday’s match will be its biggest test of 2017.
Head coach Greg Vanney rolled out a mostly first-choice lineup on Wednesday in Montreal, starting no less than six regulars for the Canadian Championship first leg. Jozy Altidore, Drew Moor, Eriq Zavaleta, Steven Beitashour and Marky Delgado all went the full 90 for the Reds, making it likely they’ll all be relegated to a reserve role on Friday. Another starter on Wednesday, captain Michael Bradley, is suspended for Friday’s match due to yellow card accumulation.
As mentioned above, however, Giovinco and Vazquez should be ready from the jump on Friday, as should defender Justin Morrow (11 minutes off the bench against Montreal) and goalkeeper Alex Bono (DNP vs. the Impact). While those four will undoubtedly play a big role, Friday’s match will be a good chance for the more lightly-used Armando Cooper, Tsubasa Endoh and Jay Chapman to shine in MLS action.
- Suspensions: Michael Bradley (yellow card accumulation)
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT - D Nick Hagglund (torn MCL), F Tosaint Ricketts (hamstring strain)
Projected Starting Lineup (3-5-2): Alex Bono – Justin Morrow, Jason Hernandez, Oyvind Alseth – Tsubasa Endoh, Benoit Cheyrou, Victor Vazquez, Jay Chapman, Armando Cooper – Sebastian Giovinco, Jordan Hamilton
New England Revolution
Heading into BMO Field is never an easy task, but New England may have caught Toronto at the perfect time. The Revs do have an important Open Cup game on the docket next Wednesday, but that’s no match for Toronto’s busy stretch. TFC will be in action again on Tuesday for the second leg of the Canadian Championship, and Vanney will prioritize that match highly, possibly even looking to get some of his more important players out of Friday’s contest early.
That could open the door for New England, who have a 0-5-3 away record, to pick up a rare road result. The Revs have had plenty of success against Toronto in the past, posting a 6-1-3 record in their last 10 matches against the Canadian club.
While they know they’ll likely be facing a reserve-heavy lineup, the Revs aren’t taking anything for granted ahead of Friday’s match.
“There’s a reason that they’re top of the table right now,” Tierney said. “They’re a really deep squad. I know that they play on Wednesday, as well, so their depth will be tested, but they’ve proven that they have the quality to win no matter who takes the field for them. It’s going to be a very difficult test and we have to be at our absolute best to get anything out of it.”
- Suspensions: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT – M Xavier Kouassi (left quad strain); QUESTIONABLE – M Daigo Kobayashi (hamstring)
Projected Starting Lineup (4-2-3-1): Cody Cropper – Andrew Farrell, Benjamin Angoua, Antonio Mlinar Delamea, Chris Tierney – Gershon Koffie, Scott Caldwell – Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe, Diego Fagundez – Juan Agudelo
- Overall: Toronto 5 wins (26 goals), New England 11 wins (43 goals), 9 draws
- At Toronto: Toronto 3 wins (18 goals), New England 3 wins (18 goals), 5 draws
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Assistant Referees: Claudiu Badea, Gianni Facchini
Fourth Official: Geoff Gamble